French Fridays with Dorie: Scallops with Caramel Orange Sauce~

27 03 2011

This week our French Fridays with Dorie recipe is Scallops with Caramel Orange Sauce.  In the sidebar of the recipe in Dorie’s Around My French Table cookbook was a notation that this recipe went very well with Spiced Carrots just a few pages away.  I don’t know why I thought Spiced Carrots were on our list this month…but I did, and jumped right on that!  So…I have a VERY ORANGE plate!  That’s okay, because she was right…the two go excellently together!

Scallops have been difficult to come by where I live.  I ended up picking up some at Trader Joe’s…not as large as I’d have liked, but wild-caught.  I could have gotten a nicer sear on my scallops…these are the pretty ones…the others were pretty pale in comparison.  I used a smallish, heavy bottomed pan…and figured out quickly that when the scallops were ready to turn, they released from the pan nicely.  The smallish pan didn’t allow the scallop juices to evaporate enough, and half of my scallops simmered more than got a sauté.  Although the others were pale, they didn’t over cook, and the sauce colored them up some.  Oh well…  I’d try this again, so next time…the sauté pan will be pulled out.

Tasting Notes~
This was a really nice recipe for scallops…and for carrots, but that’s another story!  The caramel orange sauce went together easily, and was much like a gastrique.  The scallops needed nothing more than a quick sprinkle with very little salt (I withheld the last salting in the pan because I already had a lot of liquid off the scallops to deal with) to make the flavors POP!  I served a side salad with a creamy savory dressing to break up all the sweetness.  It made a great foil!  The seriously sweet caramel sauce was tempered by the tanginess of the orange juice and the final addition of butter to mount the sauce.  We found the little strips of orange zest gave the sauce a bit of a marmalade flavor, but next time, I’d poach them in the sugar syrup as suggested.  I felt that the zest strips were tiny enough not to need the sugar…and that was mostly true.

I’d encourage anyone to give this recipe a try.  It sounds complicated, but it’s not.  The sauce takes several minutes to prepare, but it sits on the side nicely waiting to be used…and could even sit overnight!

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6 responses

2 04 2011
Kayte

I wish I could have that whole plate of food right in front of me…looks wonderful! We loved the scallops as well, and the carrots, too.

28 03 2011
sara

Yum, your scallops look lovely! I really enjoyed this recipe too and was impressed with how easily it came together even though it looked sort of intimidating.

27 03 2011
Yuri

Love the colors on your plate! This sauce was really good 🙂

27 03 2011
Teresa

I thought about doing the carrots again for this recipe, but found some newly-in-season asparagus, instead. Your scallops look great, even if they didn’t get a sear.

27 03 2011
Adriana

Your scallops look super pretty! I’m glad the recipe worked out for you.

27 03 2011
Cher

Glad you were able to find the scallops and give this a go. Hey – there can’t be too much orange on a plate. Especially this time of year! Those carrots are pretty good, aren’t they?

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